Sun April 30 | 3:30 PM

Carnival of the Animals

Special Family Concert

Kids of all ages will love the lion, swan, kangaroo, and elephant who come to play at our Family Concert!


April 30, 2023 3:30 PM

Carnival of the Animals

Special Family Concert

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Inga Wilson, narrator
Dylan Nguyen, pianist
Jun Yun

Leopold Mozart: Toy Symphony

Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals

We have an earlier performance of this concert at 1:30 pm on April 30.

Bring your kids or grandkids to experience the joy of orchestral music, including Camille Saint-Saëns’s enchanting zoological survey. As they meet a regal Lion, a stately Swan, bouncing Kangaroos, and a ponderous Elephant, your young person’s eyes will sparkle with curiosity and wonder. Families with wiggling little ones welcomed and encouraged!

Read our First-Timers Guide to brush up on orchestra vocabulary and find out what to expect from a concert at the Hult Center.

About Francesco Lecce-Chong

Francesco Lecce-Chong

Francesco Lecce-Chong has been described by the press as a “fast rising talent in the music world” with “the real gift” and recognized for his dynamic performances, fresh programming, deep commitment to commissioning and performing new music as well as to community engagement. Mr. Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras worldwide including the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with top soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. Francesco Lecce-Chong is the Music Director of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon, and the Santa Rosa Symphony, performing at the Green Music Center in Northern California.

In 2019, Mr. Lecce-Chong debuted in subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony. The San Francisco Chronicle called his conducting “first rate” praising the “vitality and brilliance of the music-making he drew from members of the San Francisco Symphony.” Other recent subscription debuts include the Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lecce-Chong also returned to conduct the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Milwaukee and San Diego Symphony. In 2019, he also debuted with the New York Philharmonic as part of the legendary Young People’s Concert Series.

Mr. Lecce-Chong’s 2022/23 seasons includes debut performances with the Kansas City Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, a return to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a European appearance at the renowned Enescu Festival with the Romanian Radio Orchestra. He continues a Rachmaninoff symphonic cycle in Santa Rosa, presents the second act of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde in Eugene, and leads the world premieres of new major orchestral works by Ellen Taafe Zwillich and Angélica Negrón.

In the previous seasons that were heavily impacted by the pandemic, Mr. Lecce-Chong created and led a series of virtual performances with both the Santa Rosa and the Eugene Symphony. The full season of performances was streamed for free to thousands of enthusiastic viewers around the world. The Santa Rosa Symphony also reached over two million households in the Bay Area through its “Santa Rosa Symphony Presents” TV broadcasts through local PBS. The programming included over 20 works by living composers and a groundbreaking partnership with the Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwillich, culminating in a recording of her music by the Santa Rosa Symphony released in September 2022 on the Delos label.

During his tenure as Music Director of two orchestras, Mr. Lecce-Chong has introduced a number of ambitious projects. He launched the “First Symphony Project” that consists of the Santa Rosa and Eugene Symphonies co-commissioning a large-scale work from a young American composer each season, complete with residencies in the communities. The Eugene Symphony has embarked on a three-part concert presentation of Wagner’s complete Tristan und Isolde and the Santa Rosa Symphony launched a cycle of the large orchestral works of Rachmaninoff paired with legendary film composers entitled “Rachmaninoff and the Hollywood Sound”. Last season, Mr. Lecce-Chong led the world premieres of five major orchestral works including an ecology-inspired work by Grammy-winning composer Michael Daugherty, a work for mariachi and orchestra by Enrico Chapela, and a dramatic work with actors based on the life of Olympic athlete Steve Prefontaine by David Schiff. He continues to build partnerships with local art institutions, schools and businesses to create original, multi-disciplinary experiences for his audiences.

Before his music directorships, Mr. Lecce-Chong served as Associate Conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony under Edo de Waart and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck. He has also been building his opera credentials as staff conductor with the Santa Fe Opera and conducted Madama Butterfly at the Florentine Opera with the Milwaukee Symphony.

Mr. Lecce-Chong is the recipient of several distinctions, including the prestigious Solti Foundation Award. Trained also as a pianist and composer, he completed his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Otto-Werner Mueller after attending the Mannes College of Music and Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Italy. He has had the privilege of being mentored and supported by celebrated conductors including Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, Edo de Waart, Manfred Honeck, Donald Runnicles and Michael Tilson Thomas.

About Inga Wilson

Inga Wilson

Inga Wilson is delighted to join the Eugene Symphony for this year's Family Concert. Originally from Minnesota, she received a BFA in Theatre Performance from Drake University and went on to study at the O’Neill National Theater Institute and Chautauqua Theater Conservatory. Other recent projects include directing Something Clean and Tiny Beautiful Things at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, and playing Judy in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Inga enjoys acting, directing, and teaching theatre for diverse audiences. Thank you for coming and supporting the arts!

About Dylan Nguyen

Dylan Nguyen

Dylan Nguyen is a 21-year-old senior undergraduate student at the University of Oregon. He has studied classical piano for 15 years, five years with Carli Barker, seven with retired concert pianist Barbara Parker and now studying with Dr. Alexandre Dossin. Dylan has won multiple different OMTA festivals, as well as larger state held competitions such as the Monday Musical Club competition. He received an honorable mention in the 2021 International Los Angeles Liszt Piano/Voice Competition. He also placed first in the 2021 Seattle International Piano Competition, the 2022 Greatest Composer International Chopin Competition, and he recently won the 2023 UO Concerto Competition.

Dylan also sang in the University of Oregon Chamber Choir, an internationally recognized elite chamber ensemble. He is currently studying towards a career in medicine, taking STEM courses while continuing his piano education. He works as a retina technician at an Ophthalmology Clinic, as well as volunteers in an Organic Chemistry lab through the science department at the UO. He is also a Peer Learning Assistant for first year General Chemistry students. Dylan loves kickboxing, jiu jitsu, and rock climbing!

About Jun Yun

A native of South Korea, Jun Yun started his piano studies at the age of 6, and completed his bachelor’s degree with full scholarship at the University of Ulsan with professor Taejin Kim in 2021. During his undergraduate years, he played in piano festivals with USP orchestra and Ulsan Junggu orchestra. He has won first prizes in multiple competitions in South Korea, such as The Music Association of Korea Competition and Music Review Competition. After joining at the University of Oregon, he performed at annual Liszt Society Events, where he joined performing Hungarian Rhapsodies in 2021 and Paganini etudes in 2022. He has won multiple competitions such as 2022 University of Oregon Concerto/Aria Competition, 2022 Eugene Symphony Guild Young Artist Competition in senior division. He was also awarded honorable mention at 2022 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition in Division X and 1st prize in MTNA state competition in Oregon Chapter.

Jun Yun maintains an active performing career in solo and chamber recitals. As an active collaborative pianist, he has a lot of experience playing with many other musicians, working in multiple choirs as well. As a Graduate Employee accompanist, He is building extensive chamber music repertoire and participating in several operas with UO Opera.

Jun Yun is currently pursuing his master’s degree in piano performance under the guidance of Dr. Alexandre Dossin at the University of Oregon.

Health & Safety

The health and safety of Eugene Symphony audience members, musicians, and staff members has been and will always be our top priority. We strongly welcome and encourage patrons who wish to continue wearing masks while attending performances to do so. We want all of our attendees to feel comfortable and accepted in your choice. You take care of you, we'll take care of the music and ensuring that your experience attending a Eugene Symphony concert remains exceptional.

For the most up to date health and safety protocols for our concerts, visit our Eugene Symphony Safety page.

LOCATION: Hult Center for the Performing Arts

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